Photosbycate Weblog

A Photo Essay Blog

A Park Above It All

This past Saturday was beautiful, hot and not humid, and a perfect day for a scenic walk along the High Line. This was my fourth trip to this unique park; once a historic elevated freight rail line. The last leg of the 1.45 mile walk is complete and you can walk from Gansevoort Street in the now trendy Meatpacking District all the way up to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues. I entered the park at 14th Street and 10th and was greeted by a towering painted image of Einstein, waving a placard inscribed with the answer to life. I knew it was going to be a good day.

There are terrific views of the Hudson River and, the surrounding scenery is an eclectic mingling of old cityscape and new architecture sprouting up on either side of the park; in fact construction seemed to be going on everywhere especially towards the end of the park near the Hudson Rail Yards.  More photographic fodder for this photographer.

If you have visited the park, you know that the High Line walkway is narrow, bordered by masses of colorful flowers and plants dotted with the latest sculptures hidden among the gardens, like Easter eggs, from the High Line Art. My favorite was Adrián Villar Rojas’ The Evolution of God. He created huge white crumpling blocks mixed with odd bits and pieces of organic and inorganic materials like sneakers and bird feathers. Not something you see every day but, it fit in very nicely with my urban grunge photography.

The park being narrow it is therefore very, very crowded.  At some points along the way you are almost cheek to jowl with the meandering populace and have to walk single file. It is undoubtedly a challenge taking photos without bumping or backing into someone, or sticking your elbow in their face, as you try to compose your shot. I managed to do just fine and really enjoyed shooting the flowers and plants in sharp focus against a background of old brick warehouses and apartment buildings, the glass and steel of the modern structures, in-your-face billboards, rusted rail ties, and construction machinery. It made for a nice urban contrast especially with a swirl of white clouds in a brightly lit blue sky.

Enjoy this uncommon stroll above the celebrated streets of Manhattan’s West Side.

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